Monday, March 31, 2014

XSCAPE-Long Awaited New Music From Michael Jackson, Out On Epic Records May 13

XSCAPE-Long Awaited New Music From Michael Jackson Out On Epic Records May 13

 Epic Chief L.A. Reid Teams Up With Top Producers To "Contemporize" Songs From Iconic Artist's Archive

NEW YORK, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 13, Epic Records, in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson, will release XSCAPE, an album of new music by the internationally beloved music icon and King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The project features eight new tracks, which the world will be hearing for the very first time on the new album. For the ultimate fan experience, XSCAPE will also be available in a Deluxe Edition, which includes all of the sourced Michael Jackson recordings in their original form. The XSCAPE standard and Deluxe Edition's are available for pre-order beginning April 1 on and elsewhere, and available at all retailers worldwide on May 13.

XSCAPE is executive produced by Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid, who, after an initial mining of Jackson's archives by the Estate, was granted unlimited access to the treasures representing four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals.

Reid curated the final list of recordings to deliver to the producers, who retooled the production to add a fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackson's essence and integrity. It's a process Reid calls "contemporizing." The album's lead producer, Timbaland was one of a handful of producers Reid believed had the gravitas, depth and range to creatively engage with Jackson's work. Additional producers include global hitmakers Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome "Jroc" Harmon and John McClain.

"Modern music and artistry would look and sound completely different if not for the groundbreaking contributions Michael Jackson gifted to the world," remarked L.A. Reid. "Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with. We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world."

The title of this album honors Michael's album naming process. He always chose a song from the album to name his projects and, beginning with THRILLER, used only one word titles, each with an edgy quality to them. This is true of the new project. Written by Michael Jackson and Jerkins, and produced by Jackson and Jerkins, "Xscape" has further significance in that it is the one track on the album that was 'contemporized' by the producer who recorded it originally in the studio with Michael.

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson said,
"Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds. He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit. We thank L.A. Reid for his vision."

XSCAPE is a long awaited collection of exciting new music that will thrill the legions of fans of one of the world's most revered and best-selling artists, as well as attract a whole new generation discovering his artistry for the first time. In conjunction with the release of XSCAPE, Epic / Sony Music will launch an unprecedented global campaign with the One Sony sister companies, Sony Corporation, Sony Mobile Communications, and Sony Network Entertainment International drawing from all of Sony's strengths and consumer reach.

"Michael has long been a treasured member of the larger Sony family," said Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Sony Corporation. "Starting with the release of 'Off The Wall' in 1979, Sony Music Entertainment has since released all of Michael's recordings. We are thrilled and privileged to be collaborating as One Sony to celebrate Michael's latest legacy, and bringing his fans an exclusive experience through our upcoming initiatives with our products and services."

More news about Michael Jackson's upcoming album will be revealed in the coming weeks. Keep visiting for new details.


Michael Jackson is one of the most beloved entertainers and profoundly influential artists of all-time. He was also a dedicated philanthropist and an astute business professional. To date Jackson has sold 1 billion records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and "Thriller" as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 17 Grammy Awards including 8 in one year, a record in itself, and received 26 American Music Awards, including the Artist of the Century Award. Jackson defined the art form of music video with such ground-breaking short films as "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and the classic "Thriller," which in 2009 became the first and only music video inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. In his short films "Black or White", "They Don't Care About Us", "Bad and "Smooth Criminal" and others, Jackson set an aesthetic standard for video production that remains unsurpassed even today. The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil have produced two top shows: Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour is the #9 top grossing tour of all time; and MICHAEL JACKSON ONE, a new permanent show at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, which is breaking box office records and receiving critical raves. Jackson's sound, style and dance moves continue to inspire today's performers and new generations of fans worldwide continue to discover his artistry.

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SOURCE Epic Records

CONTACT: Lauren Ceradini, Epic Records, 212-833-7965,

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Top 10 eCommerce Facts About Nigeria

Top 10 eCommerce Facts About Nigeria

  1. According to the World Bank, 32.9% of the population in Nigeria was dependent on the technologies of this age like, High-speed Internet, Broadband and LTE Broadband amongst others, as of 2012.
  2. Nigeria ranks 8th out of a total of 212 member countries of United Nations in terms of number of internet users. Contrastingly, it occupies 128th spot in terms of internet penetration.
  3. Although, the number of internet users in Nigeria are more in absolute terms but internet penetration in percentage terms is much lower than other African countries.
  4. According to Internet World Stats, there were 55.9 million Internet users, representing 32.9% of the population of Nigeria in 2012. During the same year, number of Facebook users totaled to 6.6 million, being the most popular internet activity amongst Nigerians.
  5. According to World Economic Forum, out of every 100 urban Nigerians, 50 access the internet monthly, 58 have internet capable mobile phones and 21 have smart phones.
  6. Public expenditure on internet technologies is $3.14 per capita. It is noteworthy that 25% of expenditure on internet is due to e-government initiatives in Nigeria.
  7. According to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the number of payments in the country made by mobile phone more than doubled, to 2.4 million, in the first half of 2012, while Internet payments rose 9.3 per cent.
  8. Among urban residents, it is estimated that 99 per cent have access to mobile phones and 50 per cent go online. 
  9. Social networking is the most popular online activity, followed by reading news and watching videos.
  10. In general, urban Nigerians are more than twice as likely as the average African Internet user to conduct transactions online.


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Using Black Magic for Nollywood Movies

Using Black Magic in Nollywood By Daring Filmmaker C.J. “Fiery” Obasi

Why I Shot My Horror Feature OJUJU on the Black Magic Cinema Camera
By C.J. “Fiery” Obasi

I shot about 50% of my upcoming feature film on the Black Magic Cinema Camera.
My verdict?
It is a brilliant camera.
Like many filmmakers and tech geeks I was waiting for an opportunity to use the BMCC, way before it was even released. Soon as I got the opportunity, I embraced it with both hands. Literally.

First, I was making a horror feature film OJUJU on a budget (mostly without a budget), and I had weighed first my pocket, obviously and the cons that come with shooting with a typical high-end digital camera such as a Red-Epic or an Arri Alexa without having access to world-class post-production equipment. In my experience, besides the fact that they can afford it (I couldn’t) most filmmakers in Nigeria shoot on a RED because they want crisp pictures, and that’s fine. For me though, I wanted to shoot on a RED because I wanted to project a finished project on 4k. Now, realistically speaking, most filmmakers I know end up projecting in full HD (1080p) anyway, even after shooting on 4k. Which makes me wonder – what’s the point? Why would I spend all that money (which I don’t have, need I remind you) hiring a RED 4k and above camera, shoot, and then only to have a finished film in 1080p. Not to mention the post-production hurdles that you’re going to face when you’re not equipped to handleits post-production demands. I would rather save my money (again, which I don’t have), shoot on a BMCC, light properly, get my film look, and end up with easily manageable rushes that I can edit on the go, even on my laptop, as I see fit. I can have the entire rushes saved in a 1Tb external hard drive. Get an extra one or two, just for back up. But ultimately edit on the go, from one external hard drive. I don’t need a super computer to achieve this. I wish I had one. But I’m making a film on a budget, and as much as I would loooooove to have some Paramount pictures level type of editing suite, we make do with what we got. We’re gonna make pictures. Thanks to the French New Wave, Dogme 95 and John Cassavettes we can conceive an idea, script it, and get on real locations making our dreams come alive, edit it and voila, we have us a picture. And thanks to the BMCC almost any filmmaker can get that film look, without worrying too much about what happens after principal photography.

Me (Left), An actor (centre), and DOP, Tunji Akinsehinwa (Right)
DOP Tunji Akinsehinwa who has worked on celluloid, as well as with high-end 4k cameras on International projects enjoyed using the BMCC for the first time.

Actors Gabriel Afolayan and Meg Otanwa play a ghetto couple Romero and Alero respectively...will their 'ghetto love' see them through, when the plague of OJUJU strikes!

Romero’s (Gabriel Afolayan) neighbourhood is in trouble. People are suddenly manifesting symptoms of rabid river blindness . With his friends, Emmy (Kelechi Udegbe) and Peju (Omawunmi Dada) he struggles to understand how the neighbourhood’s sole source of water supply could have been infected. However, there’s no time to ponder because they all must survive and fight their way through to escape the infested neighbourhood.

Gabriel Afolayan, Omowunmi Dada, Kelechi Udegbe, Meg Otanwa, Chidozie Nzeribe, Brutus Richard, Jumoke Ayadi, Paul Utomi and introducing Kelechi Joseph. - See more at:

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Legendary Broadcast Journalist Tom Brokaw to Narrate IMAX® Theater Film "D-Day: Normandy 1944"

Legendary Broadcast Journalist Tom Brokaw to Narrate IMAX® Theater Film "D-Day: Normandy 1944" 3D Entertainment Distribution To Release Film Worldwide As Of March 2014

LOS ANGELES and PARIS and LONDON, Jan. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 3D Entertainment Distribution announced today that legendary journalist and author Tom Brokaw will narrate "D-Day: Normandy 1944," written and directed by Pascal Vuong and produced by N3D LAND Films. The 40-minute film brings a new perspective to a monumental event in history that changed the world. It is slated for a staggered release worldwide in 3D and 2D, 15-perf./70-mm film and digital formats beginning in March 2014.

"What I was drawn to in this exceptional giant screen film is that it tells the story of D-Day in a manner that gives such clarity to one of the most important events in the history of mankind," said Brokaw. "By using digital technology, as well as stunning live-action images, audiences have an idea of the geography involved, the personalities involved, and it will allow a new generation a chance to understand it in a way they would not with traditional, grainy black & white footage. Upon seeing the initial few minutes of the film at the IMAX® theater, I found it irresistible."

A well-respected and trusted figure in US broadcast journalism, Brokaw is best known as the managing editor and unique anchor of NBC News. In this role, he produced and reported documentaries and extended expertise in breaking news events and election coverage. During this time, he was credited for his work in various film and television appearances, radio broadcasts, and several bestselling books, including "The Greatest Generation" and "The Greatest Generation Speaks." Brokaw has also won every major broadcast journalism award, including a Peabody Award, two DuPonts, and several Emmys. He is also recognized for his charity work.

"We are thrilled to be working with such an iconic journalist as Tom Brokaw, who is also known for his strong passion and interest in preserving the stories of those who participated in and were affected by World War II," said director Pascal Vuong. "He is, without question, the perfect voice for 'D-Day: Normandy 1944.'"

D-Day itself is a well-known event, yet only a few know in detail exactly why and how, from the end of 1943 until August 1944, Normandy became the most important location in the world. The 70th anniversary of D-Day will be marked by national and local commemorations on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as in Asia and Australia. "D-Day: Normandy 1944" is dedicated to the millions of men and women, soldiers and civilians, who gave their lives in this battle for freedom.

The official trailer is available at

About 3D Entertainment Distribution
3D Entertainment Distribution (3DED) is the theatrical sales and marketing arm of 3D Entertainment Films, a vertically integrated company founded in 2001 and focused on the production and the distribution of innovative 3D films for giant screens both in 15/70 and digital cinemas worldwide. The cornerstone of the Company's film catalogue is a unique underwater film trilogy presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau that has grossed over USD 86 million at the box office. In 2010, the Company successfully launched its first acquisition, the USD 20 million-grossing "Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World" by French production company N3D LAND Films. This was followed up with 2012's "Air Racers 3D," narrated by Paul Walker, and "Kenya 3D: Animal Kingdom" in 2013. Beginning in March 2014, 3DED will release "D-Day: Normandy 1944," from the director and producers of "Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World," in 3D and 2D at IMAX® and digital cinemas worldwide. This large format documentary, produced entirely in 3D, provides a new, penetrating look at this monumental event that forever changed the course of history. The Company's upcoming line-up for 2015 includes "Oceans 3D" (working title), the first large format film directed by ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, as well as "Patagonia 3D: Sea Life Haven" (working title). The company has offices in Weybridge (UK) and Los Angeles (California). For more information, please visit

About N3D LAND Films
N3D LAND Films is a production company founded by the four creators of the award-winning large format 3D documentary "Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World," with Catherine Vuong as producer, Pascal Vuong as film director, Ronan Chapalain as VFX and 3D supervisor, and Sylvain Grain as line producer. Since its release in 2010, "Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World" has garnered numerous awards, including for the quality of its 3D, and was named "Best Earth Sciences Program" at the 2011 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. Described by the media as "making education cool," the film has been enjoyed by more than 4 million viewers to date, in 30 countries and 24 different languages. In 2011, thanks to the skills developed during the production of "Sea Rex" and encouraged by the response of international audiences, N3D LAND Films launched the production of the first large format 3D documentary devoted to D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. In 2013, it signed a partnership with 3D Entertainment Distribution for the worldwide release of "D-Day: Normandy 1944" in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of D-Day. For more information about our company, please visit

Press Contact:
Alexandra Body, 3D Entertainment Distribution, +1-323-284-4131,

IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation

SOURCE 3D Entertainment Distribution

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Making the Anti-Hollywood Movie with John Putch

Making the Anti-Hollywood Movie with John Putch

April 1, 2014, 11:30 am PDT
Join longtime DCS member, Director John Putch as he teaches how to make an independent film on a budget, sharing tips and tricks for both pre and post production that go against the Hollywood norm.
For more information and to register, visit:

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How Did You Feel the First Time You Saw Yourself on Film?

Cover Photo Shoots - How Did You Feel the First Time You Saw Yourself on Film?
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Brie Larson, and the rest of the stars on our Hollywood Issue cover tell Krista Smith.

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o, leading stars of the multiple award winning Best Film at the Oscars "12 Years a Slave". The film won three Academy Awards: Best Picture (becoming the first film made by a black director or producer to receive the Academy's highest honor).

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Audience Entertainment and Barco To Revolutionize the Future of Cinema

Audience Entertainment Partners with Barco Alliance to Revolutionize the Future of Cinema, Offering Interactive Global Network in Thousands of Movie Theaters Worldwide

NEW YORK, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Audience Entertainment, the leading innovator in interactive group gaming, and global digital cinema pioneer Barco, Inc. (NYSE EBR: BAR) have announced a strategic partnership, creating a new interactive technology platform for moviegoers called iD - Interactive Dimension™. iD builds upon digital projection and 3D technology to create a new cinema environment allowing moviegoers to physically connect and control the screen's content the moment they take their seat. The partnership marks the start of the rollout of Audience Entertainment's technology as an integral experiential component of Barco's newly announced CinemaBarco entertainment concept to 3,000 screens globally in North America, China, Western Europe and Latin America.

Barco and Audience Entertainment are proud to announce the official launch of the iD platform at CinemaCon 2014. This preview for the entertainment industry will showcase how audiences can have a two-way dialogue with the big screen through group motion and sound. Audience Entertainment's technology will transform what is currently possible in the cinema space by allowing audiences to interact with content and with one another. Every show will become unique as no two movie experiences will be exactly alike. iD is designed around a sense of community and of engaged reach, bringing the current trend of interactivity off of the smart phone and onto the big screen, and back again. The audience can move and interact as a group, working as a team to influence and determine the outcome of the stories unfolding in front of them.

"We believe that the cinema is the perfect entertainment environment with the best seats, the best sound and the best picture, and of course popcorn" said Barry Grieff, Founder and CEO, Audience Entertainment. "As the digitization of cinema nears completion we are left looking for what is next. What will make the cinema the entertainment destination for the 21st Century consumer? At Audience Entertainment we see ourselves as the enablers of a new interactive dimension to big screen content and stories. Advertising is a great place to start, but we also expect to see movie trailers and feature films taking advantage of iD – Interactive Dimension™ capabilities that are being made possible through our alliance with Barco."

"As we launch our new CinemaBarco theater-wide entertainment concept, audience interactivity plays a significant role among several immersive technologies designed to bring showmanship back to the cinema and effectively engage this media-savvy generation of moviegoers," comments Wim Buyens, Vice President Entertainment & Corporate for Barco. "Audience Entertainment's Interactive Dimension will add a tremendous new facet to the movie-going experience, and we couldn't be more pleased to partner with such a forward-thinking company."

About Audience Entertainment: Audience Entertainment is a New York-based media technology company that makes big screens interactive by understanding and reacting to the audience. Since the company's inception, they have worked with storytellers and brands to harness interactive technology for groups. In the last five years, Audience Entertainment has validated its technology in movie theaters, arenas, stadiums and concert venues in eight countries and on four continents. Audience Entertainment's growing global interactive network enables a new proven content category (iD – Interactive Dimension™) for advertising, alternative content, movie trailers and movies. Past clients include brands such as Coca Cola, Disney Cruise Lines, Nokia, Orange Mobile, Samsung, Sony, Volkswagen, and Volvo among others.

About Barco: Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops networked visualization products for a variety of selected professional markets. Barco has its own facilities for Sales & Marketing, Customer Support, R&D and Manufacturing in Europe, North America and APAC. Barco (NYSE Euronext Brussels: BAR) is active in more than 90 countries with 4,000 employees worldwide. Barco posted sales of 1.158 billion euros in 2013.


SOURCE Audience Entertainment

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Mountain Dew Joins X-MEN: Days of Future Past Universe With Official Partnership

Mountain Dew Joins X-MEN: Days of Future Past Universe With Official Partnership

Mountain Dew(R) Joins X-MEN: Days of Future Past Universe With Official Partnership. (PRNewsFoto/PepsiCo).

PURCHASE, N.Y., March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- #DEWXMENDOFP – Mountain Dew® today announced an official international-wide partnership with 20th Century Fox's X-MEN: Days of Future Past, this summer's most eagerly awaited blockbuster, signaling the start of a robust campaign that will see Mountain Dew bring fans around the world closer to the film.

With a star-studded international cast including Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart led by Director Bryan Singer, the seventh film in the X-MEN franchise unites stars from across the X-MEN generations for an epic cinematic journey of good versus evil.

Building on more than a decade of successful entertainment partnerships, Mountain Dew is launching its largest-ever international entertainment promotion. A powerful team, the Mountain Dew and X-MEN: Days of Future Past partnership sparks an immersive, fan-focused campaign by Mountain Dew, reaching the "Dew Nation" in nearly 30 countries.

Kurt Frenier, Vice President, Global Brand Development, Beverages, PepsiCo comments: "Mountain Dew is a global brand fueled by self-expression, confidence and authenticity, qualities that are also anchored in the iconic X-MEN film franchise. To celebrate these shared passions, we're excited to bring our fans and customers around the world an immersive program of engaging content, money-can't-buy experiences and exclusive promotions, all designed to bring them closer to what is expected to be this summer's biggest blockbuster."

The promotional campaign engages consumers across virtually every imaginable touchpoint – from in-store and special commemorative packaging featuring X-MEN: Days of Future Past characters and exciting prizes, to custom cinema programs, a global television commercial and digital and social platforms sharing exclusive behind the scenes content.

Anna Roca, SVP of International Promotions at 20th Century Fox adds: "We are thrilled to welcome Mountain Dew into the X-MEN: Days of Future Past world. The adventurous, energetic attitude of their fan base mirrors the franchise's own – and their international reach helps bring our beloved mutants to more corners of the world than ever before."

Notes to Editors:

About PepsiCo:

PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola – make hundreds of enjoyable foods and beverages that are loved throughout the world. PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment by conserving energy and water and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit

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CONTACT: PepsiCo: Nicole Tronolone,

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Michael Chima Offered Residency at the Famous Tyrone Guthrie Centre

Orikinla Offered Residency at the Famous Tyrone Guthrie Centre

Award winning Nigerian artist and writer Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, aka Orikinla Osinachi has been offered residency at the famous Tyrone Guthrie Centre for creative artists at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland.

Orikinla started writing professionally at 18 as a scriptwriter for the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Channel 10 in Lagos in the early 1980s and his drawings for books have been exhibited in Japan when he was 20. He is the author of Children of Heaven (1987), Scarlet Tears of London (2006), Bye, Bye Mugabe (2008), In the House of Dogs (2011), Diary of the Memory Keeper (2013), The Prophet Lied (2013), co-author of Na-ked Beauty (2006), The Language of True Love (2006) and also the most prolific African blogger with over 30 blogs of which the most popular is Nigerians Report Online and Publisher/Editor of Nollywood Mirror, the most circulated publication on Nollywood in paperback, hardcover and Amazon Kindle. He started his Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema and launched the Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project in 2013 and recently started Nollywood Digital that will have an annual Nollywood Digital Cinema Fair every summer. His new social media project iPost Nigeria has attracted the attention of major international companies and organizations. Orikinla is expected to complete his theatrical work "Chi Amanda" during the course of his residency. "Chi Amanda" chronicles the lamentations of three women from the three dominant tribes in Nigeria who fled from different agonies of domestic violence and also tackles the plight of a young woman with the burden of unwanted pregnancy. Orikinla's last major theatrical work "Sleepless Night", the first play on the martyrdom of Chief MKO Abiola and the June 12 Crisis was premiered in July 2002 at the old French Cultural Center in Ikoyi, Lagos. It was co-sponsored by United Artists for Human Development (UAHD), French Cultural Center and Dele Momodu, Publisher of the popular Ovation International magazine. The cast was from the famous Crown Troupe of Africa led by Segun Adefila featured in the award winning documentary "Bariga Boy".
See full biographical profile on

The centre has since hosted people such as Michael Harding, Loreena Mckennitt, Oonagh Kearney, Derval Symes, Page Allen, Roisin Meaney, Anne Rigney, Gemma Browne, Colette Bryce, Phil Coulter, Brian Kennedy and Peter McCann.

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre is a centre for creative artists at Annaghmakerrig, Newbliss, County Monaghan, Ireland, founded in 1981.
The mansion was the family home of theatrical director Sir William Tyrone Guthrie (2 July 1900 – 15 May 1971).

The centre accommodates eleven residents and there are five self-catering cottages plus a facility and studio for a disabled artist and carer. Each artist must apply individually to the Board of Management and submit examples of their work. To be accepted as a resident, an artist must have demonstrated a proven track record in their field. Facilities include a baby grand piano, seven studios for visual artists, a performance space, an acoustic recording studio, a dark room for black and white photography and a recently added print studio. The ethos of the house is focussed on facilitating creative work within a welcoming, homelike and trusted environment. The only condition of residency is that all the artists must assemble for the evening meal. This was one of the terms of Guthrie’s will as he felt that conversation over good food would encourage creativity and collaboration. The Centre was one of the first North/South collaborations in the early 1980s and was managed as a joint venture by the Arts Council of the North and South of Ireland.

Many artists have commented on the fact that a stay in the Centre has given them the time and space to produce creative work and it is no exaggeration to describe the Centre as a place of heightened creativity.
- See more at:

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

President Goodluck Jonathan, the Grand Patron of Nollywood

 President Goodluck Jonathan Has Lifted Nollywood To A Higher Level
“Whenever I travel abroad, many of my colleagues, Presidents of other countries, ask me about Nollywood. Nollywood is our shining light. Africans are very proud of Nollywood. That is why we are here today to celebrate the success story of this national, continental and global brand.”
~ President Gloodluck Jonathan, Saturday, March 2, 2013, at the State House in Marina, Lagos.

President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan of Nigeria has become the most gracious and generous patron of Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry and the first Nigerian President to lift Nolllywood to a higher level with unprecedented financial largesse of US$200,000,000 for a special Entertainment Intervention Fund he announced whilst gracing the occasion of the 30th Anniversary party of the Silverbird Group on Saturday November 6, 2010 after a passionate appeal by Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Silverbird Group.
“I have one message for you tonight. Mr. President. I want you to support the entertainment industry. It’s not about me, it’s not about Silverbird, it is about Nigerians, about the youth who are our future,” Ben Murray-Bruce appealed enthusiastically. ‘’I want you to recognize the entertainment industry, you said you will never let them down, let the young kid go to the bank and borrow a million or two to make a record or make a movie, support the entertainers, if you support them, they’ll vote for you’.

President Goodluck Jonathan and Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce.

President Goodluck Jonathan gave a positive response.
“Nollywood is getting set to take over the world, I recognize the entertainment industry in the Nigerian economy, and this government will support an industry that makes Nigerians happy. I gave them direct order to make sure entertainers have $200million worth of loan to work with. Make more movies, write and produce more hit songs, provide jobs and give hope to our people,” said President Jonathan and received a standing ovation from the audience.
The US$200,000,000 was later released to the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and applications opened on January 17, 2011.

President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan clinking glasses with Nollywood star Chinedu Ikedieze, aka “Aki” (MFR) at a state dinner.

President Jonathan emphasized his commitment to the sustainable development of the entertainment industry on his popular Facebook page posted on November 7, 2010 at 4:13pm.
Investing in the Entertainment Industry
During my series of notes in the run up to Nigeria's fiftieth independence anniversary, I expressed a desire to grow Nigeria's entertainment industry into a world class one where we would see Nollywood movies being played in theatres and grossing hundreds of millions of Naira as well as have recording artists like Tuface Idibia, Dbanj, Banky W, P-Square, Timi Dakolo, Weird MC and co selling millions of records and generating wealth for themselves, their record companies, marketers and tour promoters and by so doing expanding the non oil sector of the economy. Now in furtherance of this, I have just attended the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Silverbird group where I announced a Federal investment of 200 million dollars (about 30 billion naira) as a direct intervention lifeline for the exclusive purpose of supporting artist and developing our entertainment industry. This may not be a lot of money, but it is a beginning. In seeking to diversify Nigeria's revenue base, we must think outside the box and I am expectant that this fund will make Nigeria the African entertainment capital in the not too distant future. It is my vision that every producer whether in the film or music industry, every actor or actress, fashion designers or artist must have opportunity to access cheap, long-term funding to grow their business: make movies, write hit songs, build malls, build cinemas, provide jobs and give hope to our people!
Then on Saturday March 2, 2013, at the State House in Marina, Lagos, President Goodluck Jonathan announced another largesse, a N3billion exclusive grant for Nollywood whilst hosting a delegation of Nollywood stars at a dinner to celebrate Nollywood at 20, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Nigerian breakthrough home-video; ‘Living in Bondage‘, released in September 1992.

“I assure you that my Administration will continue to give Nollywood every possible support and assistance to take the Nigerian movie industry to even greater heights of success…I have invited the private sector to this dinner because I believe that they can also support efforts to further develop our entire creative industry.”
~ President Gloodluck Jonathan, Saturday, March 2, 2013, at the State House in Marina, Lagos.

The N3 billion has launched the Project ACT-Nollywood made of three components: Capacity Building, Film Production, and Distribution. The grant is available to Nigerian filmmakers (in Nigeria and the Diaspora) and Nigeria-based production companies for projects to be executed in Nigeria. Project ACT-Nollywood is managed by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in collaboration with other government agencies.

Numerous filmmakers and distributors have benefited from the funds, including two Nigerian filmmakers in the Diaspora, Tony Abulu for the production of his “Doctor Bello” and Biyi Bandele for the production of the film adaptation of “Half of a Yellow Sun”, the historical fiction on the Biafran war by celebrated award winning Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie. The other major beneficiary is Gabosky Films Inc, which accessed N1.8 billion from the entertainment intervention fund for a credible, verifiable and controlled channel of distribution of Nollywood movies. Over 40 proven practitioners in Nollywood have shared N150million from the Capacity Building Fund of Project ACT Nollywood. And the fund covers scriptwriting, directing, film production and production design, special effects, lighting, sound effect, HD techniques, acting, cinematography, make-up, editing, etc..

 More Nollywood stars and other stakeholders have received various national honours and appointments since President Joanthan was sworn in and they include the following:
Olu Jacobs, Amaka Igwe, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Genevieve Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke-Linus, and Osita Iheme, aka “Pawpaw” (awarded the honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) on Monday October 14, 2011 at the International Conference Centre in Abuja (Nigeria). Others who have also received national honours include the late Justus Esiri (OON), Zeb Ejiro (OON), Patience Ozokwor (MFR) and Chinedu Ikedieze, aka “Aki” (MFR), and Pete Edochie (MON).

President Goodluck Jonathan honouring Nollywood diva Mrs. Stephanie Okereke-Linus with a national award.

“I see my name on the list of Nigerian for the award of Member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [MFR].It's Gods way of repaying me for all my effort towards and contribution to the growth of Nollywood in the country and the world in general,” Aki said in appreciation.

Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme were also in the presidential entourage of President Jonathan to South Africa on May 1, 2013.

President Goodluck Jonathan and Osita Iheme, aka “Pawpaw”.

President Goodluck Jonathan welcomes famous Nigerian singer and actress Onyeka Onwenu during a Condolence Visit by Nollywood (G-20) to the President on the untimely passing of his brother, Mr. Meni Jonathan, in Abuja on Tuesday (27/11/12).

Kenneth Nnebue, Patience Ozokwor, Olu Jacobs and the late father of Nigerian theater Hubert Adedeji Ogunde were also included among the 100 notable Nigerian achievers honoured in celebration of the Centenary of Nigeria (1914-2014).

President Goodluck Jonathan honoring Pateince Ozokwor.

President Goodluck Jonathan accepting the Grand Patron of Nollywood Award from Ms. Ibinabo Fiberesima, first female President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN).

Several Nollywood stars have been given appointments by President Goodluck Jonathan, including Kanayo O. Kanayo who got appointed as a member of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Studies; Onyeka Onwenu appointed as Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development in Abuja under the Presidency since September 13, 2013; and the first female President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Ms. Ibinabo Fiberesima, has been appointed into the board of the National Council For Arts and Culture (NCAC) by President Jonathan.

In appreciation of these laudable achievements, on Tuesday February 18, 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan was honoured as Grand Patron of Nollywood by members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria at the State House, Abuja.
This is an unprecedented honour well deserved by a magnanimous President who has done unprecedented favours to take Nollywood to a higher level.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Author of Children of Heaven, Scarlet Tears of London, Bye Bye Mugabe, The Language of True Love, Diary of the Memory Keeper, In the House of Dogs, The Prophet Lied and co-author of Naked Beauty.
CEO, International Digital Post Network Limited and Publisher/Editor, Nigerians Report Online

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